Clarence Arthur McCann June 8, 1891 - June 2, 1947

Clarence Arthur McCann was born in Pembroke, Hants County, Nova Scotia to Arthur Frederick and Ella Jane (Carmichael) McCann. He grew up in Windsor, Nova Scotia, Canada.

He married Ada May Smith on July 27, 1912 in Falmouth, Nova Scotia and together they had 14 children.

In 1915, Clarence travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He embarked for England not long after and remained overseas for almost four years. While there, he wrote many letters home. Over 100 of them survived and have been transcribed. The originals have been donated to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

I offer these transcriptions to those who have ancestors who served in the Great War so they might have a glimpse of what that life was like for these men.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

July 26, 1915

Dear Father & Mother,

Since I last wrote, the major has put me on a lead team with the regular driver who has been driving since February.  We take turnabout with the horses, so if anything happens to him I can take hold of the team.  The second time I was out, when it came time to change drivers, the major asked me how long I'd been driving and I told him that I had only been out once and he told me that I was driving all right.  It was then he put me on regular.

I got a complete issue of clothes and boots last week.  I took the breeches and tunic to a tailor and had them fixed so they fit me fine.  The boots are an awful size but well made and comfortable.  They are the English make.

On the drill ground there are an awful lot of horses.  Three batteries of artillery and six or seven riding schools of English hussars.  When we get the 89 horses from the sick lines, we will have some bunch.  I was on picket at the sick lines Saturday night and as there is no one around there it makes a good job.  I have cleaned no harness for a week and don't plan to for another if I can get clear of it.

Every Sunday afternoon, the Canadian band gives a concert on the leas in Folkstone and thousands of people go to hear it.  I very seldom go in there now because I have seen all of it and got tired.  Last night, I was coming along the leas and I met Walter Buchanan, who used to be in Windsor.  He has been to the Front and was wounded in three places at Ypres.  He is in a Scottish regiment and wears kilts.  He enlisted at Truro and is married.  I met Gargin again on Friday night and he tells me Eric Smith is near him in the 42nd from Winnipeg.

This morning, after we changed drivers, one of our boys who had a single horse out got frightened of him so I took him and you bet I had a circus.  He would rear right up, wheel around in a circle so fast his nose was against his tail, then he would straighten out for a good run.  Well, I had no spurs on so I could not do much but stick and I stayed there.  Last week he three himself, rider and all, and broke the man's arm.

Well, I can't think of any more till I hear from you, so goodby.


© Copyright 2011 Pamela Wile. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission

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